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When you visit the Brooklyn Museum, you can use our app to ask us questions or chat about the artwork you see.

You’ll be connected with a team of art historians and educators who know our collection, can answer your questions, and can give you recommendations on what to see next. 

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Explore our permanent collection or a special exhibition on a guided group tour led by one of our friendly and experienced Museum Guides, or on your own with a self-guided group tour. These tours are for adult groups with at least 10 people, last about one hour, and can be tailored to meet the interests and needs of your group.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're renovating our second floor to bring you a better experience, which means the Libraries and Archives are closed to the public until fall 2017. If you're a researcher who would like to access our resources, send us an email and we'll do our best to assist you.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fifth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Fourth Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the Third Floor

Also on the Third Floor: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Our Second Floor galleries are currently closed for renovations.

Also on the Second Floor

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk on the first floor.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Parking
Parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays, there's a flat rate of $6 starting at 5 p.m. Park your bicycle in the rack behind the building, next to our sculpture garden.

Shopping
Our Shop offers an eclectic mix of gifts, jewelry, books, clothing, crafts, and foods from around Brooklyn and around the world. Shop hours

Dining
Have small plates, dinner, or drinks at The Norm restaurant and bar, led by Michelin-starred Chef Saul Bolton. Or stop by the BKM Café or Bowl. Planning a group tour? Consider a catered lunch for your group.

Rest Rooms
Rest rooms are on the first and third floors (floor plan), are wheelchair accessible, and have baby-changing tables. A family rest room is located just off the main lobby.

Coat Check
A free coat check is available on the first floor, where you can leave any packages, large bags, umbrellas, or strollers.

Wheelchairs
Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the coat check on the first floor. Our entrances and rest rooms are wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our Accessibility page.

Strollers
You're welcome to use strollers throughout the building (although from time to time there are certain areas where we might need to restrict their use, on account of small spaces, especially fragile art, or other circumstances). If necessary, leave your stroller at the coat check.

Wireless Access
We offer free wireless access throughout our galleries and grounds. During your visit, we encourage you to switch to wifi (BrooklynMuseum) for faster download speeds. The wireless project was created by the Brooklyn Museum Technology Department, with help from NYCWireless.

Go Mobile
Need information on the go? Planning your next visit? Access www.brooklynmuseum.org from your mobile phone to view our mobile-friendly website.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

We're committed to making our galleries and facilities accessible to everyone.

  • We are fully wheelchair accessible. Check our online and printed floor plan for details.
  • If you need a wheelchair during your visit, they're available for free at the coat check in the lobby.
  • Companions of people with disabilities are admitted for free.
  • The parking lot behind the Museum is fully accessible. There's a free, 15-minute grace period for pickups and dropoffs.
  • If you need an assistive-listening device, they're available for free at our Admissions Desk, on the first floor.

We also offer a wide range of services for our visitors of all ages with special needs.

  • For those who have low or no vision, guided visits that include verbal descriptions can be scheduled for both adult and school groups, with advance notice. We also offer Sensory Tours, monthly public tours designed to accommodate and engage both sighted and non-sighted visitors. Verbal descriptions of collection highlights are available via Art Beyond Sight.
  • For those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, American Sign Language interpretation for both adult and school group tours can be arranged, with advance notice.
  • For those with intellectual disabilities or other special needs, we offer specially tailored guided gallery visits to adult and school groups.

We hope that you'll get in touch with us via email or at 718.501.6229 if you have questions about any of the above services, or if you'd like to make advance arrangements.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

No matter what your interest, there's a tour for you:

  • Join our Museum Guides for daily public tours (free with admission) focusing on a variety of themes, eras, and movements in art.
  • Book a group tour for ten or more adults.
  • Explore tours and programs for school groups, all designed to help students and teachers construct meaningful experiences with works of art.
ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

Exhibitions on the First Floor

Also on the First Floor

  • Admissions Desk
  • Museum Shop
  • Dining (The Norm restaurant and bar; BKM Café and Bowl)

Rest rooms are on the first, second, and third floors; those on the first and third floors are wheelchair accessible. The second-floor rest rooms can be reached only via the stairs from the Schapiro Wing on the third floor. Water fountains are near the first- and third-floor rest rooms.

Pick up Assistive Listening Devices at the Admissions Desk.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

By Subway

2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum. Transfer to 2/3 from 4/5 (at Nevins Street) and B, D, Q, N, R, and LIRR (at Atlantic Terminal-Barclays Center). See a subway map. Make sure to check with the MTA for any service changes, especially on the weekend.


By Bus

The closest bus stops are:

B41 and B69 at Grand Army Plaza

B45 at St. Johns Place and Washington Avenue

Check with the MTA for the most up-to-date bus information.


By Car

From Manhattan:

Brooklyn Bridge; left at Tillary Street; right on Flatbush Avenue for about 1.5 miles to Grand Army Plaza; about 2/3 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at the first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue). Or: Manhattan Bridge enters directly onto Flatbush Avenue.

From Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, or Connecticut:

Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough) to Brooklyn Queens Express (BQE); Manhattan Bridge exit to Tillary Street; left onto Flatbush Avenue and proceed according to the directions from Manhattan.

From Staten Island and southern or central New Jersey:

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Gowanus Expressway (Route 278 towards Manhattan); exit to 38th Street; left on Fourth Avenue for about 2 miles; right on Union Street; 5 blocks to Grand Army Plaza; go 1/2 around Plaza; right on Eastern Parkway. We're at first intersection (Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue).

From northern or north central New Jersey:

George Washington Bridge/Holland or Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan; follow directions from Manhattan.

From Long Island:

Grand Central Parkway to Jackie Robinson Parkway; exit at Bushwick Avenue; left at third traffic light to Eastern Parkway; about 3 miles to Washington Avenue. We're across intersection at left.


Parking

On-site parking is available in the lot behind the Museum, off Washington Avenue. On Target First Saturdays there's a flat rate of $5 beginning at 5 p.m.


Bikes

Park your bicycle at the racks behind the Museum, next to the Sculpture Garden. Bikes are parked at your own risk; we don't accept responsibility for vandalism or theft.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.

ASK Brooklyn Museum Bloomberg Philanthropies

Here's what people are asking.

How old is this? Has this actual piece been restored?
This is from the late 3rd millenium BCE or over 4000 years ago. The wooden axels have been restored, but the terracotta is original! Animal shaped vessels were popular in numerous ancient cultures for various purposes. This ram-cart shape was used by Sumerian people when the 3rd Dynasty ruler from Ur in Lower Mesopotamia. It likely had a funerary or ritual purpose.
What can you tell me about this work?
This figurine is small, but powerful. The seated pose indicates divinity in ancient Near Eastern art as do the horns on his helmet. Belief in the god Shamash was shared by multiple Near Eastern cultures as well. This statue is Syrian, but he was also worshipped by the Assyrians who created the wall reliefs surrounding the gallery, for example. You may notice the same horned helmet iconography on the supernatural beings on the wall reliefs as well.
So blue!
Great find, that statuette is made of glazed faience, which is how that brilliant blue color is achieved.
Thanks, I had been wondering about the blue!
Cool! You will see it throughout the galleries as it was a popular and symbolic color to use in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian word for the material Egyptologists call faience, tjehenet, means "brilliant" or "shining." Also, the color blue had special significance for the Egyptians: light shades of blue were associated with the sea and vegetation which represented health and life, and darker blues were associated with the dark primordial waters out of which creation first appeared, as well as the night sky through which the sun-god traveled to be reborn every morning.
Do you know why there is a hole in this figured stomach?
Hi there! Great question! These cavities are common in Huastec sculptures and were probably used for ritual offerings.
Some scholars have also suggested that green stones, symbolizing the heart and its life force, may have been placed in those spaces, perhaps with the intention of animating these sculptures.
You can see that there are also holes in the eyes and ears, it's likely these spaces would have been filled with precious metals or stones. Or, the ears may have been filled with ear-flares, like what the skeleton wears on the opposite side--have you seen the back side yet?
Ah thanks for connecting the front and back! Didn't notice before.
No problem! It would be a shame to see this sculpture and miss out on the back. That is why it is called a "Life-Death Figure," because it represents both.
When in Egyptian history was the discovery and fascination of the "Milky Way" and galaxy best recognized to take place?
What a detail to pick up on! The curators chose to use the term "Milky Way" so visitors today would know what the text was referring to. The Ancient Egyptians had a different name for the celestial body.
As far as when the Egyptians gained interest in what we call the "Milky Way," the fascination likely dates back as long as people were looking into the night sky. Before artificial lights the band of the galaxy that we see from Earth was actually very easy to see on a clear night. The Ancient Egyptians named constellations according to deities and mythology much in the way the Ancient Greeks did. The mythology of the night sky predates writing so we don't know when exactly it started, but certainly more than 5000 years ago!
How is the Paracas textile preserved? How is it possible to retain color and texture from 300BC?
That's a great question! Like many very old yet well-preserved objects, the Paracas Textile came from a burial. The dark controlled environment of a burial helps preserve organic materials like textiles and the pigments you see here. In addition, the South Coast of Peru, where this was found, is one of the driest regions of the world, which contributed to the preservation of textiles. 
You may notice that some colors do survive better than others, that has to do with how well the pigment adheres to the fibers.
What did they use for the pigments?
The Nasca people used natural pigments derived from plants, insects, and minerals. They may have used certain sea shells, too. 
What am I looking at?
That is one of our many Assyrian Wall reliefs. This work includes a great example of cuneiform text and offers us a peek into Assyrian spirituality. All of the figures with wings are genii (genies). Scholars suggest that in the Assyrian culture the idea of the "genie" refers to winged protectors sort of like guardian angels. Here, they are seen pollinating trees and other flora with a pinecone, imbuing the trees with sacred power. The text overlaying the figures alludes to the king's great power. I particularly love the way the muscles, beards, and clothing are depicted.
Is there any particular reason that eyes in Egyptian depictions are so elongated?
It really was a stylistic choice; you seem pretty savvy so I'm sure you've noticed that many of the motifs remain similar throughout the history of ancient Egypt in depictions of people.
However, you are in the Amarna Gallery which is an interesting 'break' in these stylistic choices. The pharaoh at the time, Akhenaten, changed the religious system as well as how he, as a pharaoh, was depicted. You can find a bust of him in the gallery where his body is 'rounder' than earlier or later depictions of pharaohs.
What's going on here?
Objects like that papyrus, as well as textiles and other works on paper, need to be protected from light because light damage is cumulative and irreversible. That's why the object in the case is covered. If you continue back to The Mummy Chamber, you will see another long papyrus that is kept mainly in the dark, with lights that are motion sensored.
The sign says this was written in a cursive form of hieroglyphics called hieratic. Did this influence written Hebrew or Aramaic in any way?
There is a relationship. Hieroglyphs and Hieratic are the basis for an alphabet known to scholars as Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite which directly influenced the Phoenician alphabet on which both Hebrew and Aramaic (among others) are based.
What was kept in this?
It is presumed that this camel-shaped vessel held wine. It likely served ritualistic purpose; as you can imagine, it would be difficult to drink from and not large enough for storage.
ASK App ASK Team

Curious about how we developed ASK Brooklyn Museum? The project team is blogging regularly on BKM Tech, and we've open sourced our code on Github.